Gloucestershire 2017Read more about Gloucestershire
This is HMICFRS’ fourth PEEL (police effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy) assessment of Gloucestershire Constabulary. PEEL is designed to give the public information about how their local police force is performing in several important areas, in a way that is comparable both across England and Wales, and year on year. The assessment is updated throughout the year with our inspection findings and reports.
The extent to which the constabulary is effective at keeping people safe and reducing crime requires improvement.
The extent to which the constabulary is efficient at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
The extent to which the constabulary is legitimate at keeping people safe and reducing crime is good.
Wendy Williams, Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary
Read my assessment of Gloucestershire Constabulary below.
I am satisfied with most aspects of Gloucestershire Constabulary’s performance in keeping people safe and reducing crime, but the force has more to do to provide a consistently good service. I note the improvements made in response to our 2016 recommendations in the way it tackles serious and organised crime.
However, the force needs to improve:
- the consistency of its problem-solving and its use of analysis and evidence to prevent crime effectively;
- its criminal investigations, as the quality of investigations in the specialist and local teams is variable; and
- its management of registered sex offenders.
Despite some improvements in child protection I am concerned that the force is not doing enough to support investigations into child sexual exploitation, and missing and absent children.
The force has maintained a sound understanding of demand and manages it well; its planning for future demand is good.
The force has improved the way it treats members of the public and its own workforce.
Overall Gloucestershire Constabulary has made a great deal of progress since 2016, but there is more to do.
How effective is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Gloucestershire Constabulary requires improvement at keeping people safe and reducing crime, although it has made a great deal of progress since 2016. Gloucestershire Constabulary has improved its approach to preventing crime and tackling anti-social behaviour, but it needs to go further still to provide its communities with a consistently good service in this area.
Leaders have a clear vision for crime prevention which sets out the changes needed to improve services. Some of these changes have already been made to allow neighbourhood officers to focus more of their time and effort on preventing crime and anti-social behaviour, rather than reacting after it has occurred. Officers and staff understand what matters to local communities and are responsive to their needs. However, the force needs to improve the consistency of its problem-solving work and make greater use of analysis and evidence to prevent crime effectively.
The force should also address shortcomings in its investigation of crimes. It attends the majority of incidents promptly when this is appropriate, and generally makes informed decisions based on risk to victims. Most crimes are investigated to a satisfactory standard and the force makes good use of intelligence. Nevertheless, there are inconsistencies in the quality of investigations and in the supervision provided to investigators. We found that some cases are still being allocated to officers who do not have the right skills or experience, which sometimes means that victims do not receive the level of service that they should.
The force is good at protecting vulnerable people and supporting victims, which is a strength. It identifies vulnerable people effectively when they first contact the police. The force generally investigates crimes involving vulnerable victims to a good standard, and provides effective support to people with mental health conditions. However, it should improve its management of registered sex offenders in order to protect the public from harm.
The force has improved the way it responds to serious and organised crime since the last HMICFRS inspection in 2016. It has a better understanding of organised crime threats and this is starting to have a positive effect on its ability to disrupt organised criminals. It is also good at identifying those who may be vulnerable to being drawn into serious organised crime or gang activity. However, it is yet not clear whether new structures and processes will lead to positive results, as there has not been sufficient time for the force to evaluate the effectiveness of its disruptive activity. Gloucestershire Constabulary has the necessary arrangements in place to fulfil its national policing responsibilities, and to respond to an attack requiring an armed response.
How efficient is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Gloucestershire Constabulary is judged to be good in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. Our overall judgment this year is the same as last year. The constabulary is judged to be good in its understanding of demand; its use of resources to manage demand is assessed to be good; and its planning for future demand is also judged to be good.
The constabulary has a comprehensive understanding of the demand for its services and is improving its understanding of the specific types of demand that are less likely to be reported. It is working to reduce demand effectively, but not to the extent of suppressing it. The constabulary has a good understanding of the cost and quality of current service levels and it prioritises allocation of resources to meet demand. The constabulary invests thoughtfully and is working well with others to manage demand for services, however it might benefit from exploring wider options for collaboration with other forces and partner organisations. The constabulary takes account of public expectations of the services it provides and is well placed to assess future trends and how best to configure its resources in response to them.
The constabulary has a good track record of meeting its required savings target; its plans are built on sound planning assumptions and are subject to regular scrutiny. However, the constabulary needs to do more to ensure that it identifies future leaders within the organisation.
How legitimate is the force at keeping people safe and reducing crime?
Gloucestershire Constabulary is judged to be good at how legitimately it keeps people safe and reduces crime. For the areas of legitimacy we looked at this year, our overall judgment is more positive than last year, when we judged the force to require improvement. The force is judged to be good at treating all of the people it serves with fairness and respect. It is now also judged to be good at how well it ensures its workforce behaves ethically and lawfully and good at treating its workforce with fairness and respect.
Gloucestershire Constabulary is assessed as good in respect of the legitimacy with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. The force has improved on last year’s inspection in which we found it to require improvement in respect of its legitimacy.
The force continues to reinforce the importance of treating people with fairness and respect and has made good progress on the areas identified for improvement in last year’s report. It has introduced a structured governance process to manage misconduct problems and complaints. It has also made improvements in how it treats its workforce with fairness and respect. However, it could do more to improve the way it identifies and develops staff with high potential.
How well has the force performed in our other inspections?
In addition to the three core PEEL pillars, HMICFRS carries out inspections of a wide range of policing activity throughout the year. Some of these are conducted alongside the PEEL inspections; others are joint inspections.
Findings from these inspections are published separately to the main PEEL reports, but are taken into account when producing the rounded assessment of each force's performance.
Gloucestershire – National child protection inspection – published on 20 June 2017
Abuse of position assessment – Gloucestershire Constabulary – published on 5 October 2017